Let’s Whip Us Up a Mob: No One Reads the Original Source

Bill Gertz, the classic “dragon-slayer” reporter for the Washington Times, has made a successful career out of emphasizing Chinese defensive buildups since the early 1990s.  Gertz has a big audience and, as an individual, has more influence over how China appears on, say CNN and FOX News than your average reporter.  Because his stuff tends to be sensational, he’s far, far more explosive with his … Continue reading Let’s Whip Us Up a Mob: No One Reads the Original Source

人多没办法! Viewing Chinese Power thro the Lens of Spring Festival Chaos

As pundits both knowledgeable and sketchy proclaim a new era in Chinese global assertiveness, it’s helpful to recall one thing: the Chinese people are an immense force, a force whose collective and chaotic power is never more evident to Chinese leaders than in the Spring Festival travel season. For this reason, I have to recommend scrolling through this Huanqiu BBS photo-montage of the craziness of … Continue reading 人多没办法! Viewing Chinese Power thro the Lens of Spring Festival Chaos

Le Dernier Jours du Pekin: French Reads

My title today comes from a romantic, fin-de-siecle French account of the Boxer Rebellion, when the walled city of Beijing seemed to be Ground Zero for Armageddon.   But my double entendre is really meant to suggest Obama’s last day in the city. If Obama is really such a socialist, why didn’t he insist on visiting Chairman Mao’s tomb?  Maybe because he’s too busy trying to … Continue reading Le Dernier Jours du Pekin: French Reads

“Obama’s low bow subjected to scrutiny”: Chinese Media

Global Times in Beijing, no friend to Japan, now carries the story of Obama’s low bow to Emperor Akihito, quoting the Washington Times and all.   The story is carried by the same paper in Chinese here.  It took a couple of days, but the Chinese media is now buzzing with yet another theme. Chinese netizens have some very interesting comments here, replete with some … Continue reading “Obama’s low bow subjected to scrutiny”: Chinese Media

Obama in Shanghai / 奥巴马在上海,第一

Finally, a story worth reading about Obama’s trip to China. And for the record, it’s normal for top university students to be a members of the Communist Youth League, or 青年团.  Does anyone have an idea of how hard it is to get a job for college graduates in China today?  Membership in the Youth League can often help with employment, getting recommendations, etc.  It’s … Continue reading Obama in Shanghai / 奥巴马在上海,第一

Obama in Tokyo: Initial Reactions

For someone like myself whose main point of reference of U.S.-Japan relations is the postwar occupation (1945-1952) and the later 1960 Security Treaty (or Anpo), there is something a bit giddy about watching Air Force One touch down in Tokyo. (Perhaps it is the recollection of my own triumphal arrival in that city in 1987 as an impressionable and wholly smitten boy soprano, bringing Gershwin … Continue reading Obama in Tokyo: Initial Reactions

Protests in Okinawa

Prior to Obama’s upcoming visit to Japan, about 20,000 Japanese took to the streets yesterday in protest in Okinawa.  In the case of the US-Japan alliance, it appears that for all of the political and environmental harmony between Hatoyama and Obama, and in spite of the fact that the Japanese were among the most excited for his having won the Nobel Peace Prize, that certain … Continue reading Protests in Okinawa

Dalai Lama in Paris; A Commentary on Elections and Propaganda

Nearly three weeks has passed since the Dalai Lama stopped in the Paris city mayor’s office for a brief ceremony and photo opportunity, but his visit remains worth commenting upon, since the “incident” was widely discussed in China and fed into several important streams of discourse on Sino-French and Sino-Western relations. Timing of the Visit First, although the CCP press noted that the Dalai Lama … Continue reading Dalai Lama in Paris; A Commentary on Elections and Propaganda

Thoughts on Sino-French Relations from “the Time of Distrust” to Today

One of the more exciting things I get to do as a young academic is travel to the Foreign Ministry Archives in Beijing, there to scout out new sources on China’s relations with the world in previous decades.  And what could be more interesting?  In terms of people-to-people relations, or political/military conflicts, China’s history offers a panorama of change and continuities. So, somewhat more than … Continue reading Thoughts on Sino-French Relations from “the Time of Distrust” to Today